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St Peter's Church Choir

ST PETER'S CHURCH CHOIR

The Choir Calendar gives details of what the choir is up to during 2016/2017.

The Music Lists give the music to be included in services for the month ahead.

The Choir Photos show photos of the choir.

Boys, girls, women, men, sopranos, altos, tenors, basses.

Why not join us?

Practices on Thursday evenings

and Sunday services

Director of Music: Fiona Brown - Tel. 01242 576069
music@winchcombeparish.org.uk

The choir of St Peter’s Church, Winchcombe, is a “family” choir which leads the singing at the services there as well as giving a concert in July each year. October-December is always a busy time, as we have special Harvest services, the Advent Carol Service and the Christmas Carol Service – as well as singing on Christmas Day, of course, and carol-singing in Winchcombe.

Members of the Full Choir sing every Sunday; members of the Associate Choir sing with us on at least one Sunday per month.

The choir is over 40 strong, and consists of boys, girls, women and men aged 8-80+. There are currently 20 8-18s in the Full Choir, and there are 6 Associate members. The younger members constantly gain from the experience and also the care of the older “juniors”, and often remain in the choir for long enough to be able to themselves be a great help to the younger singers. The head choristers lead by example, and also help by lining the choristers up before the services, making sure the hymn numbers are on the board and ensuring that the music is cleared away after the services. Most of the choristers live in Winchcombe or Gretton, and attend the local schools. I enjoy my annual visit to Winchcombe Abbey Primary School, when I sing with the children in Assembly and meet all of Years 3 and 4 in small groups to hear them sing and tell them about the Choir. Sometimes parents professing to be from “unmusical” families are surprised to find that they have a singer in the family! One such boy enjoyed singing so much that he left our choir to join the Gloucester Cathedral Choir, and eventually became their Head Chorister.

Some of the adults have much choral experience – one of the octogenarians, for instance, started singing in his school choir at Denstone College and has continued to contribute to church choirs and choral societies ever since. There are other members of the Choir, however, who have come to singing relatively late and are now enjoying the challenge!

With such a variety of ages, experience and musical abilities in the Choir, you might imagine that it is impossible to choose suitable repertoire! In fact, I find that there are some pieces – such as the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah – that everybody enjoys. Sometimes I am surprised at the sophistication of the young choristers' tastes: two of the 9/10 year old boys quoted 'Like as the hart' – Howells and 'Beati quorum via' – Stanford as being favourite anthems. Most choristers like any piece that suits their voices well and has a memorable melody line – anthems particularly enjoyed at the moment include 'The Father's Love' – Lole, 'My song is love unknown' – Archer and 'How can I keep from singing' – Geoff Weaver. Items from 'Godspell' or 'Jesus Christ Superstar' generally prove popular, too.

The “junior” choristers (those aged 8-18) appear to value the Choir's “career structure”. They are able to work through a series of targets set by the Royal School of Church Music, qualifying them to wear various different colours of ribbons with medallions. Most coveted are the Dean's, Bishop's and (only very occasionally earned) the Gold Award, all of which are assessed by an external examiner.

Picnics, skating trips, skittles evenings and the annual Choir Dinner all add to the fun of being in the Choir!

If you come to St Peter's on a Sunday, though, do not expect always to see and hear exactly the same Choir! See the Choir Calendar for details of who sings when. At weddings, we are able to muster a balanced choir of just over 20 singers.

I have enjoyed church music for such a long time that I am not sure why I am sometimes surprised to find so many people of all ages really enjoying being part of a church choir. After all, it's very hard work, sometimes in rather draughty conditions........but you come along with your friends, the building is beautiful, you can help to make the wonderful sound that surrounds you...it really does have its attractions. Why not join your local church choir?

Safeguarding
We do, of course, take the safeguarding of all children and young people taking part in our groups very seriously; so the parent(s) or guardian(s) of each member aged under 18 years are required to complete the Safeguarding Form.

Fiona Brown